Since 1987, the Law Society has run an annual inter-school Mock Trial Competition for school aged students in Years 10, 11 or 12.
What is the Mock Trial Competition?
The Mock Trial Competition (MTC) is an educational programme run by the Law Society for secondary school students.
The MTC is a role playing activity in which teams of school students take on the roles of barristers, instructing solicitors, witnesses and court staff to present both sides of a fictitious case before a mock trial judge in a real court room. The MTC commences at start of Term 1 and runs through to October with all teams participating in the first 3 rounds (run from March to July).
The MTC is recognised by the School Curriculum and Standards (SCSA) as a Provider-developed endorsed program.
Who can participate?
Registering a School Team
The MTC is open to school-aged students currently enrolled in Year 10, 11 or 12.
To participate, schools must register their team/s of students (between 8 and 15 students) who take the following roles within a mock trial:
- two barristers
- two witnesses
- one instructing solicitor
- one court orderly or judge’s associate
To register a school team/s, please complete the School Team Registration Form prior to 14 February 2024. Please refer to the Competition Rules 2024 (also annexed to the Manual) before registering.
Volunteer Law Students, Lawyers and Legal Professionals
The MTC could not run without the support of volunteer law students, lawyers and other legal professionals who generously volunteer their own time to act as advocacy coaches, mock trial judges or to develop case materials. If you are interested in being involved in that capacity please complete the Volunteer Lawyer EOI (Expression of Interest) Form and the Mock Trial Coordinator will be in touch to discuss opportunities. Practicing lawyers are eligible to receive 1 CPD point (Professional Skills) per hour of attendance at a mock trial hearing (up to 6 for a CPD Year).
Cost, Venue, Time and Dates
There is a registration fee for each team. Schools may register more than 1 team (up to 5 teams) subject to capacity. Some schools eligible for the Student Access Program receive discounted fees. See MTC Fee Schedule 2024 for more information.
Mock trials ordinarily take place at the old Supreme Court building located in Stirling Gardens, Barrack Street, Perth. Some trials may also be held at the Mandurah Courthouse.
The mock trials run from 5.30pm to no later than 8:00pm. Students should be on site at least 15 mins before start time.
The MTC runs from February to October each year. See MTC Calendar 2024 for specific dates for each round.
What is involved?
Format of the MTC
There are 6 rounds in the MTC. All teams participate in the first 3 rounds (held March to July). The 16 highest ranked teams progress to the Preliminary Final with the 4 highest ranked teams moving onto Semi-Finals. The winners then compete in the Grand Final in October. Students who participate in at least 3 mock trials receive WACE Accreditation.
For more information please refer to the Mock Trial Competition Manual 2024.
Prior to each round
Prior to each round, each team is provided with Case Materials, a date for their hearing and which side they are representing. The Case Materials are the court documents to be used in the mock trial and include a summary of the modified law to be applied in the case, the issue/s in dispute, 4 witness statements and any documents to be tendered. All teams participate in the first 3 rounds. In those rounds, team should expect to participate in at least 1 criminal and 1 civil trial and have the chance to present a case from both sides (i.e. Plaintiff/Prosecution and Defendant/Defence).
Mock Trial Hearings
Each mock trial is presided over by a volunteer law student, lawyer or legal professional. Simplified rules of evidence and law are used for each mock trial to ensure the focus is on advocacy skills – not knowledge of substantive law.
For more information about how the mock trial hearings are expected to be conducted, please refer to:
- the Mock Trial Run Sheet (for details about how the mock trial proceedings are expected to run, rough timeframes for each stage of the trial and what is required of each student role)
- the Scoresheet 2024 (for the breakdown of points that may be allocated by the judge during a mock trial)
- the Simplified Rules of Evidence 2024 (for the rules of evidence to be applied in a mock trial)
There are 4 court documents (annexed to the Competition Manual) that students must complete in each mock trial. These are:
- Court Document 1- Notice of Appearance
- Court Document 2 – List of Objections
- Court Document 3 – List of Exhibits; and
- Court Document 4 – Timesheet.
See Mock Trial Competition Manual 2024 (with annexures) for more information.